John Williams

  • Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said the Fed is not working on its own digital currency, right now.
  • Reuters reported Wednesday Williams said the Fed is paying attention to research on blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

The Federal Reserve isn’t planning on launching its own digital currency — at least for now.

While speaking at an event at Arizona State University on Wednesday, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, John Williams, said the Fed is not working on its own digital currency, according to Reuters reporting.

But the Fed is paying attention to research on blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin, the news wire said.

Earlier this year, Jerome Powell, a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, said a central bank digital currency would face privacy issues and competition from private enterprises, according to Bloomberg News.

Other countries have appeared more open to the idea of a national cryptocurrency.

A group of Japanese banks are set to launch a new national digital currency in a bid to wean citizens off cash. As reported by Business Insider’s Oscar Williams-Grut in September, a consortium led by Mizuho Financial Group and Japan Post Bank plans to launch the new digital currency called “J-coin” by 2020. The project has the support of Japan’s central bank and regulators.

Estonia, a nation in eastern Europe, considered launching its own state-run digital currency. However, the so-called “estcoin” never got off the ground because the European Central Bank ultimately put the kabash on the idea, according to Quartz.

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